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Terminal Modernization

5 Hidden (and not so Hidden) Design Secrets at the Dayton Airport

With all of the shiny, new things to explore thanks to the terminal modernization at the Dayton International Airport, you could accidentally miss some pretty interesting details. Here are some of the hidden, subtle, and surprising design elements you don’t want to miss next time you visit the airport.

Photo Credit: Kevin Lush

1. Connect with the Sunshine

If you frequented the airport in the past, you likely don’t recall seeing windows near baggage claim. That’s because as the airport grew and needed space for rental car counters, a break room for airport staff, and the Military Welcome Center, the logical response was to place them where they would fit and be easy to locate for passengers. However, it meant blocking the light from the outside.

With the rental car counters moving to their own, dedicated building, and the Military Welcome Center moving to a larger space, the windows are once again visible, providing a sense of openness and connectivity with the outside world.

2. Look Down at Airplanes for a Change

You’ve probably noticed the brand-new terrazzo floors that glitter in the light and look brilliantly shiny and new, but did you notice the airplane designs across the expanse of the terminal floor? Not only are 20 airplanes designed into the floor that are significant to Dayton’s aviation history, but these airplanes are also life sized. Want to see how you stack up next to a B-17 Flying Fortress? Step on up and see for yourself! (Spoilers: It’s bigger than you.)

3. Check Outside for Hidden Design Elements

On the exterior of the terminal, the canopy is ready for lift off thanks to the sleek, slender wing-shaped materials that taper just like the wing of an airplane. This nod to aviation design is a beautiful way to celebrate flight (and the city where it was invented).

4. Look Up at the Structure

The columns are actually built at a slight angle, just enough to emulate the wheels of the airplane and the experience of standing under an airplane.

New and improved Dayton Airport terminal

5. Sustain and Maintain

There are so many ways we are working to make the airport more sustainable and easier to maintain for airport staff. Here are a few:

  • The glass at the front is connected to sensors that turn off the lights if there’s enough natural light coming in.
  • Columns, walls, counters, and more are wrapped in stainless steel, which when dirtied throughout the day can simply be washed off. With typical drywall, the airport would need repainted every six months or so. Bonus detail: The use of stainless steel is also meant to represent the metal bodies of airplanes.
  • The terrazzo floor will last a long time and require only maintenance and cleaning for 50 years. Terrazzo should hold up for around 50 years, or around five or six carpet replacements.
  • The mechanical system (HVAC) can adjust and slow down when areas are empty.

The 3,500 people who go through the Dayton Airport daily will likely enjoy the more obvious improvements, luster, and renewed energy of the terminal thanks to the many improvements that have been made so far. Only a few will catch all of the surprising little details that have been incorporated into the design to create one fascinating celebration of flight – in the city where powered flight was made possible.

Can you spot them all? See all of these design elements and more when you book your next flight at FlyDayton.com.